Scotland ups its target for electricity from renewables to 50% by 2020

The Scottish government has upped its target for electricity from renewables in Scotland from 40% to 50% by 2020, with an interim target of 31% by 2011. The announcement of the new goal slipped out quietly with no hype or fanfare in the Scottish government's Spending Review 2007 document. Already under consideration by the Scottish National Party government, which achieved a majority for the first time in this year's Scottish elections, is a tougher goal for greenhouse gas emissions. At the turn of this year, the UK government is to publish a consultation on a Climate Change bill with a target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050. The target is the equivalent of a 3% cut in emissions each year. Earlier this year, Scottish Renewables called for a more demanding goal for electricity from renewables of at least 50%. It welcomes the new target. It estimates that some 20% of Scotland's electricity demand will be met by renewables this year. "There has been significant growth in renewable electricity capacity since devolution and with continued political support it can grow further," says the association's Jason Ormiston. "We are pleased to see that the Scottish government agrees that it is appropriate to increase the target in Scotland and we as an industry view this as underlining the Scottish National Party administration's continuing commitment to renewable electricity."